The week of Oct. 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week in British Columbia. Emergency BC, local firefighters, and fire service personnel across the province will be raising awareness of fire safety and keeping the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.
This year’s theme is “Protect your family from fire,” which builds on last year’s theme around the importance of installing and maintaining smoke alarms. This theme focuses on how to plan and practicing getting out of a fire should one occur.
Fire Prevention Week is an annual national event that was established in 1919 and occurs as close to Oct. 8 as possible to help commemorate one of the most significant fires in North America — the Chicago Fire of 1871. Learning from the past helps us move forward. In B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon fire departments launch co-ordinated efforts to educate children in grades 1-3 and localized in communities around the annual theme.
What’s most important is that these strategies are working. In B.C. fire fatalities are declining as are injuries due to fire. Fire Prevention Week is clearly a worthwhile educational campaign that is helping lower risks for communities and families while saving lives.
So be sure to take the time this week with your family to practice and plan what to do in case of a fire in your home. Practicing and having a plan will increase the chances of your family escaping a fire safely. Finally, I couldn’t talk about fire prevention and safety without mentioning the hard work and selfless acts made by firefighters and other emergency personnel each day in the Cariboo and across British Columbia. Thank you for making our communities a safer place to live.
For more information of Fire Prevention Week visit: http://www.nfpa.org/index.asp
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.